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White House Officials Blindsided by Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif's G-7 Appearance



Photo of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
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SAINT-JEAN-DE-LUZ, France — The White House was blindsided by the arrival of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday in the coastal French town where President Donald Trump and other world leaders are meeting this weekend, three U.S. officials said shortly after Zarif’s arrival.
But a senior administration official insisted the president himself was not caught off guard by Zarif’s arrival in Biarritz, France, the site of this year’s Group of Seven summit, despite simmering frustration among his aides about the French invitation. When asked about it early in the day, the president told reporters he had no comment.
A spokesman for Zarif announced that Zarif had arrived in Biarritz at the invitation of the French foreign minister “to continue talks” between the Iranian and French governments. The statement followed reports of an Iranian government plane landing in Biarritz.

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